Keshava review: A stylish revenge drama
A cliched, yet engaging plot
Friday 19 May 2017
Nikhil Siddhartha, Ritu Varma, Isha Koppikar, Rao Ramesh, Priyadarshi, Raja Ravindra, Vennela Kishore, Brahmaji, Ajay
Keshava’s parents are killed in a road accident and he witnesses that a police van hits them. The only survivors are him and his sister. He seeks revenge once he joins Law College. Keshava (Nikhil) does background work on the police officers involved in the killing of his parents and he starts killing them one by one. After two murders of the police officers, IPS officer Sharmila (Isha Koppikar) comes for investigation and she starts suspecting Keshava. By interval she nabs him but she doesn’t have evidence to prove him guilty. From then the story moves forward to how he completes his vengeance and what twist the story offers him in the end.
As the trailer promised, Sudheer Varma's Keshava is a revenge drama served in style. Revenge dramas, per se, rarely tread a different path. Sudheer Varma's Keshava follows the same path but where he differs from this road is in treatment. He has made the movie very slick and stylish. Keshava is not about solving the mystery behind murders but creating a mood. Telling the same story in a different way. So, it succeeds on that part.
He creates the right mood for the film by selecting Godavari area locations that are not widely seen in the movies. The beauty of locations, the slick cinematography, and evocative background score has set the mood perfectly. Like Bollywood movie, Badlapur, this is all about hero taking vengeance at any cost. Though both stories are different, the arc is same.
Stylized cinematography is what dominates the movie throughout.
The drive of entire first half is top class. Like the movies of Quentin Tarantino, he tells the film chapter wise. The story begins with the accident of the hero's parents and then moves to his college days. The time-lapse is shown through various movie posters during this period. This is quite interesting. After two murders, it is revealed that hero is taking vengeance and Police officer Isha also easily comes to know Keshava is behind these murders. But this entire thread is told in a gripping way.
Since it is pure revenge drama, there is not much surprise elements post interval barring the climax part. The pace slackens post interval and also plot contrivances is also visible. However, the film keeps you engaged to see how it finally ends.
Sudheer Varma told the story of a protagonist who has Dextrocardia, a congenital abnormality of having a heart on the right side of the chest. While this makes an interesting angle to the characterization for any hero, the angle goes missing in the entire drama. It is used as a cheat. Also, there are many loopholes as per logic is concerned. How Nikhil comes to know that the real villain is at that place is not explained. How come Ajay and Brahmaji act like they are superiors to Isha when she is IPS and they are local police officers?
As far the performances are concerned, Nikhil scores well with his acting. He doesn't speak much and doesn't give varied expression but he is to the point. Isha Koppikar is a perfect fit in the role of a police officer. Rao Ramesh is good as always. Vennela Kishore generates good comedy. Ritu Varma is neat for the role heroine though she has not much role. Priyadarshi is decent.
Credit must go to the stylized look of the movie to cinematographer Divakar Mani. His frames are strikingly beautiful and the yellow tint that has used throughout the movie has created the mood for the theme perfect. There are no duets, except two background songs and both of them lack appeal. But Prashant Pillai's background score is brilliant. His work dominates all along with Diwakar's. The sound mixing is also good.
Dialogues by Krishna Chaitanya and the team are impressive. The film has just 116 minutes of runtime but the second half gives the feel of lengthy. Right from his debut movie Swamy Raa Raa, director Sudheer Varma has been focussing on stylized narratives. The same can be seen here as well.
Keshava has stylized narration. Excellent cinematography and terrific background score dominate the movie. The plotline of vengeance is very clichéd, but the slick narration by Sudheer Varma and engaging first half cover these. Overall, this is a stylish revenge drama.
Keshava review: 3 stars